- 20,99 €
Few people these days would question Mozart's rating as the most popular of all classical composers. Yet there exists no substantial, up-to-date English-language study of the man and his works. In this study of Mozart's early years, Stanley Sadie aims to fill this gap in the form of a traditional biography on a straightforward chronological basis. The volume covers the period up to 1781, the year of Idomeneo and Mozart's settling in Vienna. Individual works are discussed in sequence and related to the events of his life. Stanley Sadie draws substantially on the family correspondence, quoting the letters and discussing what they tell us about Mozart and his world and his relationships with his family and his professional colleagues. Also included is a discussion of all aspects of Mozart's life and his music, relating them to the environment in which he worked, social, economic and cultural as well as musical. Much new material connected with Mozart has come to light in recent years. There have been discoveries of musical sources and new ways of studying known ones. Such finds and methods have changed our view of the chronology of many works and they often have significant biographical ramifications. Understanding of the context for Mozart's music, and indeed his life, has broadened immensely. Stanley Sadie's biography digests and interprets this corpus of new information.
More a biography of Mozart's music than a study of the man himself, Sadie's final opus he died this year after publishing some 30 books should delight musicologists but puzzle general readers. Not only is the music Sadie's primary interest, he does not believe it reveals anything, necessarily, about its composer. Indeed, he reminds readers not to impose contemporary values on Mozart's era. "Romantic eyes," for example, might see certain minor-key compositions as expressions of Mozart's grief over his mother's death, but Sadie argues that there's "no real reason to imagine that he used his music as vehicle for the expression of his own personal feelings." Likewise, modern critics expect to see a certain type of progress in Mozart's oeuvre, with subsequent works building and elaborating former ones, in ways alien to Mozart on his contemporaries. Sadie is deft at situating various styles of musical composition in their cultural context: preferences for serious vs. comic opera, shorter vs. longer works, ecclesiastical vs. lay sponsorship, etc. But Sadie's real forte is his skill at dissecting musical composition breaking it down to its constituent elements to understand its power which is why this volume is indispensable for serious scholars, and mostly unreadable by everyone else. Illus.